AskDefine | Define flume

Dictionary Definition



1 a narrow gorge with a stream running through it [syn: gulch]
2 watercourse that consists of an open artificial chute filled with water for power or for carrying logs

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /fluːm/


  1. An open channel or trough used to direct or divert liquids.

Extensive Definition

A flume is an open artificial water channel, that leads water from a diversion dam or weir completely aside a natural flow, often an elevated box structure (typically wood) that follows the natural contours of the land. These have been extensively used in hydraulic mining and working placer deposits for gold, tin and other heavy minerals. They are also used in the transportation of logs in the logging industry, electric power generation and to power various mill operations by the use of a waterwheel.

Specialist flumes

A flume can be used to measure the rate of flow. Specific designs include the Parshall, Palmer-Bowlus, Trapezoidal, and H-Flume. See flow measurement#open channel flow measurement. A sewer pipe can be used as a flow measurement flume by using the Manning formula.
In competitive swimming, specialized flumes with transparent sides are often employed by coaches to analyze a swimmer's technique. The speed of the flow is variable to accommodate the full spectrum of swimming styles and ability.
Flumes are also used in The Pendragon Adventure, as a thing to redirect travelers through space and time.

External links

flume in German: Riese (Holz)
flume in French: Flume

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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